SU AZIZ remembers the mee goreng mamak seller of her childhood days and comes across a version almost as good.
When I was a child, the streets of a Malay enclave within our capital city were always alive with mobile food vendors. An old Indian man selling mee goreng mamak is the one among the horde that comes to mind. His “stall” consisted of a huge wok, a glass cabinet full of noodles and a makeshift gas cylinder on a threewheeled bicycle.
Pleasant in his quiet way, his familiar horn would announce that he was ready to fry and serve his famous noddles at a moment´s notice.
To wave him down, one would have to holler above the din of the city. With a nod,he would slow down, hop off, fold up his dhoti and fire up the stove to cook one of the community´s must-haves.
In would go the cooking oil. He chopped onions, green chillies and fried beancurd, all of which he threw into the hot oil. An appetising waft would fill the air when he added his special sauce, so fragrant that it lured more customers from the neighbouring houses.
Believe me, nothing spelt bliss like a plate of his spicy mee enjoyed under the shade of a mango tree, followed by a nap on a hot afternoon. Ah, what I wouldn´t do to have those days again!
Whatever happened to the mee goreng mamak man I don´t know but since then, I´ve been looking for mee goreng mamak like that of my childhood´s. A tall order, I know! Then I came across Legend Hotel Kuala Lumpur´s version.
My verdict? It´s the closest thing to my old seller´s -- although it could do with a bit more spice. Here´s the recipe; if all else fails, you can relish it at the hotel´s Berisi Lounge.
For the mee mamak paste:
1. For the mee mamak paste, sautee four to five cloves of chopped garlic and five to six sliced shallots in a cup of cooking oil until fragrant.
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